SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain


KULeuven, Department of Architecture, Urbanism and PLANNING Dagnachew G. Aseffa [s0205505]


for whom and why: Social innovation: Conclusion Bibliography An alternative strategy Neo-liberal urban development and patterns of socio-spatial exclusion Dagnachew G. Aseffa [s0205505] 2|P ag e .REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] Contents • • • Introduction Context New urban policy: The Search for a Competitive reform • • • • • • New urban Governance: Tailor cut for urban rejuvenation Over view of ‘Bilbao the strategy 2010:’ What.

REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] INTRODUCTION Globalization brought about significant changes on the way the global systems operate. flourished and declined. Which is why most European cities have adopted a contemporary seemingly conventional urban redevelopment trend which portrays a ‘new’ urban economy. Cities-as centers for this market. Dagnachew G. and market expansion to worldwide dimensions. 2001. intensified competition. This in turn called for a renewed role of urban planning.needed to become globally competitive. Swyngedouw et al. planning should be able to put forth new ways [strategies] of working to face the opportunities in the global economy. this happened at many levels but the most affected one is the corporate market system that was prevalent in the 1980s. 2004). to foresee what the keys to competitiveness will be in this new era where information and knowledge are gaining more worth than capital.” both organizationally and economically. adhering to a neoliberal New Urban Policy (NUP) agenda. New technologies appeared. Hence. Aseffa [s0205505] 3|P age . This policy mainly sees planning through urban “projects” as the main strategy to stimulate economic growth and to “organize innovation.Businesses got confronted with a socioeconomic reality that was unprecedented. 2003. significantly engaged in large-scale physical renovation. Instead of relying completely on liberalization or the economic order of the market. bringing forth the need for an improved imagination and vision. a growing and progressive need for innovation.. Moulaert et al.. and to give a response to this “fracture”. and supporting (justifying) market-led urban development (Broom hill.

as a metropolis was not let off from these changes in the market trend. and national—and also international—actors that meticulously exercise their socioeconomic. unemployment levels rose while the relative standards of living fell. It is however. Nor is it to portray its accomplishments in terms of generating the economic rejuvenation of the metropolis. Furthermore. having the Social Innovation concept embedded deep within it. The principal idea was to transform the waterfronts along the banks of the river Nervión. from brown fields that are physically and economically obsolete. Bilbao. it focuses on giving the city a “face lift” in an effort to make it more attractive for further investment and thereby strengthening its competitive position and putting it back on the international scene. Extremely high levels of pollution accompanied the loss of urban identity. guiding the development trajectory of this area to best suit their interests. Dagnachew G. It is not the intent of this paper to discuss this planning experience -considered by some to be the beginning of the “miracle” of Bilbao-in an exhaustive way.had a segregating and polarizing effect on the sociospatial fabric of that area. Yet like so many other European cities. Bilbao also witnessed an alarming decline in traditional industries and urban conditions. arguing that the very conception of the projects highlights and reflects the aspirations of a particular set of local. and bringing together a complex set of counterhegemonic movements and initiatives. Aseffa [s0205505] 4|P age . In the past its economy was primarily dependent on heavy industry. would be capable of anchoring urban change movements more firmly into the local social and political fabric. into a renewed area to re-construct a Bilbao for the next century. as if rising from the ruins of its industrial past and shaking off the dust. at which point the municipality decided to undertake a massive planning action to address the problem.gyrating mainly around the realization of large-scale and emblematic redevelopment “projects”. cultural. or political power. aimed at outlining the fact that this revitalization strategy.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] In other words. by drawing theories and concepts from various discourses and relating them to empirical data the paper proposes that the Integrated Area Development approach. regional. thereby bringing forth a less partial strategy having an improved authenticity and transparency. Social and political problems were also aggravated by the economic situation. As a result.

The development of manufacturing followed by intense immigration transformed this area into the heart of industry and working class communities. initially a recreational and summer residence area for the city’s upper classes. a new rationality of segregated functions and classes drove the development of residential and business locations for the industrial and financial bourgeoisie in the centre and working class neighborhoods in the periphery 2. the engine of growth during the expansive phase. the Bilbao’s socio-economic and spatial structure has been shaped primarily by the changing requirements of manufacturing activities. up-market housing and later on. Whereas the left bank was accentuated by the expansion of manufacturing and port activity and by the concentration of immigrant labor. tertiary activities.145 inhabitants (2006) 1 and used to be the most financially and industrially active part of Greater Bilbao. Between 1975 and 1996. The city has 354. Greater Bilbao’s 950. Aseffa [s0205505] 5|P ag e . the metropolitan economy was badly hit by the crisis of Fordism and the restructuring of production and demand globally in the early1970s. whose banks are home also to numerous businesses and factories. The Right Bank (Margen Derecha).155 inhabitants are spread along the length of the Nervión River. Elena Martínez and Galder Guenaga UNEVEN REDEVELOPMENTNEW URBAN POLICIES AND SOCIO-SPATIAL FRAGMENTATION IN METROPOLITAN BILBAO Arantxa Rodríguez. After several decades of intense growth. Manufacturing activities. was gradually transformed into a residential centre of higher quality. From the early outbursts of industrialization in the second half of the 19th century. 2 UNEVEN REDEVELOPMENTNEW URBAN POLICIES AND SOCIO-SPATIAL FRAGMENTATION IN METROPOLITAN BILBAO Arantxa Rodríguez. In Bilbao. which during the industrial revolution brought heightened prosperity to the region. the zone in which almost half of the Basque Country’s population lives. Elena Martínez and Galder Guenaga Figure 1: aerial view of Bilbao metropolitan area [source: Google earth] 1 WIKIPIDIA 3 Dagnachew G. metropolitan Bilbao lost almost half (47 percent) of its manufacturing jobs and the proportion of industrial employment dropped from 46 percent to 23 percent 3. now led the dynamics of contraction and decline.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] CONTEXT Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country in northern Spain and the capital of the province of Biscay (Basque: Bizkaia).

in an effort to address this problem and to put the city back on the map of the new global economy. generating attraction magnets overseas and sell its emerging international reality. At this point the municipality. with the basic idea being to give the city a new ‘international look’. NEW URBAN POLICY (NUP) The Search for a Competitive reform “During the [19]80s both Bilbao and its citizens were in the throes of a crisis and decline period. steel. Aseffa [s0205505] 6|P age . dominated by large firms. urban regeneration has become the primary component of urban policy of the Bilbao metropolis.” 4 As is the case in many European cities. The changing socio-economic realities it faced in the 1980s have gradually made it shift its focus of urban policy away 4 A government report published online in English by the DEPUTACIÓN FORAL DE BIZKAIA (2002) Figure 2: Relationship between NEP.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] Most of these losses took place in traditional Fordist industries such as shipbuilding. this decline in the manufacturing industry lead to a rise of unemployment levels and a depreciation of the relative standards of living. uncertainty and instability for the majority of the urban population. NUP. Not surprisingly. which in turn lead to extremely high levels of pollution accompanied by the loss of urban identity. with a feeling of pessimism about their future. Erik Swyngedouw and Arantxa Rodríguez] Dagnachew G. thereby making it more competitive with its peers. radiate hope and confidence in the region. chemicals and electrical equipment. A revitalization scheme was required to shake it’s inhabitants awake.undertook a massive planning action. and UDPs [source: NEOLIBERAL URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE: Frank Moulaert.

2004) I. elite culture. following a market-led urban development pattern. 5 The rejuvenation of the metropolis was done in the mainstream fashion of urban development characterized by a ‘new’ urban economy closely linked to a neoliberal _ New Urban Policy (NUP) agenda. 2006). has promoted a particularly effective discursive chain advocating the role of the city at the international scale 5 UNEVEN REDEVELOPMENTNEW URBAN POLICIES AND SOCIO-SPATIAL FRAGMENTATION IN METROPOLITAN BILBAO Arantxa Rodríguez. 2001.. 2003. all organized around a discourse. 8 These were then reproduced by the consultancy companies contracted by the local coalition to prepare local strategic plans. Flavia Martinelli. Flavia Martinelli. functions and scope of urban policy and the rise of new forms of urban governance (Brindley et al. Aseffa [s0205505] 7|P age .) 6 The policy making process here . Swyngedouw et al. Sara González and Erik Swyngedouw Dagnachew G. 1989).. Feinstein. internationally fashionable theoretical concepts such as ‘learning region’. 6 Figure 3: policy narrative [source: DISCOURSE COALITION Hajer 1993] 8 SOCIAL INNOVATION AND GOVERNANCE IN EUROPEAN CITIES: urban development between path dependency and radical innovation Frank Moulaert. and the practices that conform to these story lines. ‘glocalization’ or ‘spaces of flows’. This new policy extensively promoted large-scale physical renovation.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] from managing city growth and the negative externalities of accelerated urbanization towards coping with the consequences of economic crisis and restructuring (Moulaert and Scott. is a clear-cut case where a ‘discourse coalition’ 7(Hajer.. The use of this discursive chain was legitimized by referring to. Elena Martínez and Galder Guenaga SOCIAL INNOVATION AND GOVERNANCE IN EUROPEAN CITIES: (González. producing spaces for the favorite sectors of the global market (new technologies. 1995) formed by the main regional. 1997.” (Hajer 1993: page 47). 1991). (Broomhall. Sara González and Erik Swyngedouw “A discourse coalition is the ensemble of a set of story lines. the actors that utters these story lines. etc. 7 urban development between path dependency and radical innovation Frank Moulaert. advanced business and communication services. virtual use values. Moulaert et al. The strategic shift in urban regeneration has evolved in the context of a critical reappraisal of the form. provincial and local authorities together with some relevant private actors.e. and mobilizing.

presented on 25 November 1999. an Association that goes by the name "Bilbao Metropoli-30" 9 (comprising of Public and Private Bodies. etc).11 José Antonio Garrido chairman of Bilbao Metropoli-30 According to this document the ‘Strategy 2010’ is founded on three basic elements: people. The appeal of the metropolis: the Association Bilbao Metropoli-30 starts off from the premise that the city is a vital space. in May of 1991. where the priority is to shape an environment in which human beings may find an atmosphere conducive to harmonious development where the personal and the social come together in solidarity. People: they have the knowledge and the Plan is made by and for people. keeping and attracting professionals. equipment for laboratories and areas of research.bm30. from brown fields that are physically and economically obsolete. ‘allegedly’ covering all walks of life in the city. an inhabited place that must be livable in. "Bilbao as a global city". the chief goal being the transformation of the Activity in the city: high value added business activities are the motor force of the metropolitan system. 10 Although this was the most influential association.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] NEW URBAN GOVERNANCE Tailor cut for urban rejuvenation As an upshot of the above mentioned coalitions. support policies for innovative initiatives and the creation of intelligent infrastructures (IT systems. and ‘Bilbao Ria 2000’ 10 BILBAO METROPOLI-30 home page http://www. most of whom were representatives from institutions and companies associated with Bilbao Metropoli-30.html Dagnachew G. To encourage these activities a suitable environment must be created providing immediate Internet almost 10 years after its formation. it was not alone there were also others like ‘Promobisa’. which conform to the same strategic objective: the development of an advanced knowledge context capable of making highly innovative business strategies take on material form". This association.html 9 page http://www. It is in this context that the strategy considered the renovation and the rehabilitation of the Nervión River and its surroundings to be the highest priority. activities and the appeal of the metropolis. For high value added business initiatives to take shape it is necessary for the role of leaders to be reinforced in developing Metropolitan Bilbao and to design mechanisms for training. new strategic challenge for 2010 "we studied success models and cities of the future from all over the world to provide a referential context for the new projects currently proposed in the Strategy. research and promotion of the urban projects. Aseffa [s0205505] 8|P age . who exercise their profession or activities within the Metropolitan Bilbao) was formed whose sole responsibility was to carry out planning. 11 BILBAO METROPOLI-30 home OVER VIEW OF ‘BILBAO2010: THE STRATEGY’ This document was drawn up by this Association with the collaboration of more than 300 experts. came up with a strategic plan called "Bilbao 2010: The Strategy" consolidated in the project "Bilbao 2010: Strategic Reflection". into a renewed area to reconstruct a Bilbao for the next century.

receptive city. and the fomenting of a welcoming attitude towards visitors to make Bilbao an open. Aseffa [s0205505] • • extending the knowledge of English as a lubricator for communication. the document presents the values that must be promoted in order to achieve the strategic objective of developing a suitable environment for business activities with high added value content. as part of a professional culture • Respecting differences so as to improve the quality of life shared in the city and guarantee the integration of all members of society • Raising public awareness based on the meeting of obligations. and developing and Publicizing the corporate image of Bilbao. FOR WHOM AND WHY? Neo-liberal urban development and patterns of socio-spatial exclusion Perhaps reality can have [a] structure only from the falsely universalizing perspective of the dominant group. street furniture and the cleaning and upkeep of the city • integrating green spaces in the metropolitan area. page x 9|P ag e . such as parks and recreation areas • guaranteeing the safety of the general public Dagnachew G. That is. only to the extent that one person or group can dominate the whole will reality appear to be governed by one set of rules or to be 12 Jane flax constituted by one privileged set of social relations. WHAT. 12 GEOGRAPHIES OF EXCLUSION. broken down into top priority projects. Among them. included • the creation of a "city for innovation and knowledge" [Zorrozaurre] • the holding of a Universal Exhibition as a way of projecting Bilbao internationally and acting as a catalyst for a score of public and private initiatives • the urban regeneration of the Old Quarter of Bilbao and • the cleaning and recovery of the River and its banks. and making it an identifiable and unmistakable symbol of Bilbao City and of the socioeconomic dynamism of the areas through which it flows. complementary projects and the promotion of certain values. Lastly. The complementary projects included • the implementation of an advanced international programme of entrepreneurial management • the development of a coordinated system of metropolitan planning • a commitment to quality in the public services • taking care of ornaments. • Doing normal day-to-day things well.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] In line with this thinking. friendly. David Sibley. transforming it into the articulating axis for an open multicultural society. London 1995. this document specifies a series of strategic projects that will set the Plan in motion in Metropolitan Bilbao. The top priority projects.

the degree of autonomy and impermeability of these institutions was so high that social and political debates over alternative paths and strategies were avoided. This process of institutional organization –being a shift from a system of representative urban government to one of stakeholder urban governance–is centered on newly established institutional arrangements. to identify who represents what. These Public-private partnerships characterize the ideal of such cooperative and coordinated mode of “pluralistic” governance (Healy. private sector. run smoothly and efficiently. as can be clearly seen in the formations of ‘Bilbao Metropoli-30’.html] As can be clearly seen in the above discussed document. and private actors form an interactive system and “negotiate” views and interests. This perpetually shapes the interventions. dreams and aspirations of the included. the whole revitalization process seems to have been done by. Aseffa [s0205505] 10 | P a g e . local embeddedness and social capacitybuilding. the fact remains to be that the actual configuration of such project-based institutions is highly selective. Even though. and how.1997) 13.bm30. and it is difficult. and produces a particular imagination of the urban that best reflects the.thebook. competencies. usually by the key power brokers within these institutions. 13 COLLABORATIVE PLANNING. the problem was that.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] Figure 4: public private coalitions [source: BILBAO METROPOLI-30 home page http://www. starting from the policy making down to implementation. and nongovernmental organization (NGO) participation is present (figure 3). Patsy. ‘Promobisa’. and responsibilities. who. this form of urban governance shows an apparent lack of accountability channels. which make things. Yet. suggesting institutional depth. There is also no formalized mechanism of while those of the marginalized or otherwise excluded groups remain suppressed. this fragmentation of agencies and institutions has a positive cling to it. where a complex range of public. shaping places in fragmented societies Patsy Healy 1997 Dagnachew G. but rather works through a selective invitation. paralleled by a redeployment of policy-making powers.2000’ Although a varying composition of state. A brand new urban policy was drawn coupled with brand new governance system involving the subordination of formal government structures to new institutions and agencies. and ‘Bilbao Ria. If this is so it goes without saying that participation is rarely formal. semipublic.

David Sibley. This invariably created social-power struggles 15 which coupled with structural socioeconomic changes became instrumental in shaping the destiny of urban environments. where inequality and socio-economic imbalance prevail. the role of the elite players was of utmost importance in shaping the urban development trajectories. all these are nurtured by the hidden presence of the sacred. but it is also wise to acknowledge the fact that the less 16 GEOGRAPHIES OF EXCLUSION. page 72 15 NEOLIBERAL URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE : large scale urban development projects and new urban policy. that it has a risk of worsening the possibly already existing social and spatial exclusion patterns. that our institutions and practices have not dared to break down……. Michael Foucault SOCIAL INNOVATION AND GOVERNANCE IN EUROPEAN CITIES: urban development between path dependency and radical innovation Frank Moulaert. These rituals are expressions of power relations: their main concern being domination. between space for leisure and that of work. It is evident that. and economic integration.the city of Bilbao is actually evolving towards a more socio-spatially fragmented place. place-specific and embedded within specific and concrete institutional settings. Perhaps our life is still governed by a certain number of oppositions that remain inviolable. one other flaw of the Bilbao case is that it assumed that the actual processes of urban change were predictable products of foreseeable courses of action. People have the capacity to change their environments and more specifically every individual retains some autonomy as thinking and acting agent which leads to the question of the distribution of power within a social system and of spatial structures as reflections of these power relations. London 1995. They also seem to have confused ‘discourse’ with theory and theory with reality. Moreover. and access to land and so on. taking its ‘explanatory’ factors of economic growth and progress as actual descriptors of the way urban economies and societies develop 14. access to services. -possibly due to this misinterpretation of the actual processes of urban development in the policy making process. cultural. However. thereby Creating an uneven social and functional divisions of space within the metropolitan area. Erik Swyngedouw and Arantxa Rodríguez Dagnachew G. Yes the elite players have the upper hand in the shaping of the settings. Needless to say. the overwhelming emphasis on financial feasibility requires these large scale projects to be strict followers of a short-term return maximization logic that carries with it a condition of speculative redevelopment. Flavia Martinelli. as 14 they decided basic rights to housing. This puts their financial sustainability into question. evidences show that.oppositions that we regard as givens: for example between private space and public space. hence there was a Struggle for inclusion in these elite circles determining the wider process of social. between cultural space and useful space. This of course leads to an illusory depiction of the actual processes of urban development.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] As is the case in most of ‘conventional’ views of urban development. The policy makers overlooked the fact that development is deeply historical. political. Frank Moulaert. Sara González and Erik Swyngedouw In order to understand this problem of exclusion we need a cultural reading of space. or in other words the ‘anthropology of space’ 16 which emphasizes the rituals of spatial organization. Aseffa [s0205505] 11 | P a g e .

and on the other hand we have the rejection of whatever is not treatable and that.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] privileged or the powerless also have enough power to ‘carve out spaces of control’ in respect to their day to day lives. Aseffa [s0205505] 12 | P a g e . a set of judgments have to be made which normalize interventions in a greater range of human life.more rather than less attention has to be given to the deviance question. movements. the result is that more people get involved in the ‘control problem’ …. As can be seen clearly in the document ‘bilbao2010: the strategy’ rhetorically attention to social issues is mobilized to justify projects. produced urban islands. David Sibley. As Foucault maintains A whole history remains to be written of spaces –which would at the same time be the history of powers from the great strategies of geopolitics to the little tactics of the habitat accumulations etc. perhaps another not so insignificant factor responsible for the creation of sociospatial exclusion patterns could be that the funds for these largescale projects are allocated on a project-formulation basis. constitutes the garbage of a functionalist administration. notwithstanding the fact that economically dynamic or promising activities were presented [in forms of trickle-down benefits] as a path to remedy these socio-economic exclusion in the policy discourse. the final consequence obviously being the formation of a fragmented city. So inevitably the targeting of spaces for “development” brings about the recasting of particular social groups as problematic. distinct spaces with increasingly sharp boundaries which are brought about by a combination of physical. (in his book visions of social control). and cultural boundary formation processes. he suggests that programmes designed to bring the ‘deviant’ back into the community result either in the reconstruction of group conflict at a different scale or more insidious modes of inclusionary control. David Sibley. while the underlying and sometimes explicit objective is different.. management combines with elimination: on the one hand we have the differentiation and redistribution of the parts and function of the city through inversions. thus. and 17 This assortment of newly constructed ‘clean’ environments with their associated increased rents together with the restructuration of the socio-economic pattern of the developed area. He further elaborates this by saying When boundary blurring. GEOGRAPHIES OF EXCLUSION. excluded. This appreciation of power relation gives meaning to space. 18 ‘Spatial purification’ seems to have been a key feature in the organization of the large-scale-project-based developments of Bilbao. Given that variations in the level of control and manipulation of different spatial configurations reflects different forms of these power relations. London 1995. page 72 19 Dagnachew G. marginalized. Michel de Certeau recognizes this problem as the need for creation of ‘clean space’ 17. social. And the competitive tendering process by national or 18 Ibid. integration and community control take place. page 85 GEOGRAPHIES OF EXCLUSION. In order to include rather than exclude.he further elaborates this by saying: In the city organized by ‘speculative’ and classifying operations.19 Besides all the above mentioned reason. London 1995. These processes of boundary formation and exclusion are necessary features of social control according to Stanley Cohen. not on the basis of social needs or considerations of fostering the social economy. and nonintegrated.

These criticisms actually target the inconsistencies. such as crafts activities in addition to the major sectors (in Bilbao’s case manufacturing and service industries). lobbying. takes the socio-cultural and socio-political dynamics inherited from the history and development process of the locality in to consideration. neighborhood.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] inter-national organizations favors projects that have a sound institutional and organizational basis capable of engaging in the complex tasks of project formulation. negotiation. human development. the discriminatory character of this form of urban development. In fact the ‘Bilbao effect’. Aseffa [s0205505] 13 | P a g e . in a bid to overcome the limits imposed by the prevailing emphasis on economic feasibility and short-term maximization and acknowledging the need for a more integrated socio-economic strategy. the economic distortions. SOCIAL INNOVATION: an alternative strategy In sharp contrast to the neoliberal (market-lead) urban development. spontaneous organizations of concerned citizens. and implementation. is now playing a significant role in justifying similar projects in other cities. as well as easy access to the centers of power 20. All-in-all. but also significant financial resources. Forms of development and strategies that would not take into account these features would have a hard time to work. Flavia Martinelli. Frank Moulaert. cultural or art initiatives. All of this is usually not available to the weaker social groups and areas in the city. multidimensional change agendas and the list goes on. Erik Swyngedouw and Arantxa Rodríguez SOCIAL INNOVATION AND GOVERNANCE IN EUROPEAN CITIES: urban development between path dependency and radical innovation Frank Moulaert. as far as a successful urban policy is concerned. which are consequently falling behind and are dependent on ad hoc measures imposed from above. This means.or area-based small-scale projects. sustainable development. traditional manufacturing development 22 SOCIAL INNOVATION IN LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES Frank Moulaert and Jean Cedri : large scale urban development projects and new urban policy. whereas on the other hand this view of urban development strategy and policy has been increasingly criticized by social and political movements. and they offer alternative possible paths of urban development strategies and policies such as bottom-up 20 21 NEOLIBERAL URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE mobilization. not to mention social scientists and urban planners. suggesting that investment in flagship cultural regeneration policies will bring socio-economic wealth. incorporating both an economic and social strategy for integrated development in the new urban agenda. Sara González and Erik Swyngedouw Delvainquire Dagnachew G. by acknowledging the socio-cultural specificity 22 of the areas which are developed. improvements have to be made in the urban policy of metropolitan Bilbao. as it has been called. on which the Integrated Area Development approach in urban development is based. citizen participation. alike 21. This requires not only a set of sophisticated skills. the Social Innovation view. and acknowledges that these processes do in fact reproduce local behavior and socialization patterns which are related to the history of local economic sectors. On the one hand the case of Bilbao has become something of a ‘model’. (Frank Moulaert) just like we saw in the Bilbao case When.

23 Thus. society. 1 . the technical expertise to make feasible proposals 14 | P a g e Dagnachew G. particularly youth. which take into account local and regional specificities. So a deep understanding of what the necessary fields are is of high importance Albrecht and Swyngedouw (1989) suggest that the new profile of the planner could be refashioned around new and changing roles. but it is a matter of a co-determination of the activities as well as the technologies they will use. reinforcing socalled indigenous potentials and local factors i. training in fields where there are detected shortages. Aseffa [s0205505] . local as it is. it is related to the availability of local jobs that people can realistically take after having completed the courses.Vocational training adapted to the needs and to the possibilities of the population. The reconstitution of socio-political dynamics can of course be achieved through mobilizing certain groups and movements but those seldom have a lasting effect. In fact. and focusing on specific fields of intervention and define the strategies necessary to achieve pre-determined goals 3 . these courses take into account the qualification of the local people. This is a crucial step for two reasons first. institutional. they continue saying: the definition of local development strategies is then no longer an issue of adaptation of the local community and its environment to the requirements of pre-set and most of the times technology driven development processes. When thinking in terms of social innovation instead of technical innovation. so more social and culturally inspired views of innovation are needed to reconnect this breach between economic development strategy and social policy. regional characteristics. such as an understanding of structural (macro) processes. paying close attention to local. does not innovate just through integrating the new emerging technologies.e. requiring a variety of skills.Actions in favor of and based on the mobilization of the local people and the building up of a local "conscience": decentralized. Secondly. Innovation dynamics. according to Frank Moulaert and Jean Cedri Delvainquire. a complete socio-political disintegration which paralyzed the local potentials of redevelopment occurred.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] trajectories were suddenly broken after having persisted for decades.Actions in favor of stronger links between economic strategies and social policies: In Bilbao’s context. can be defined by taking into account the specific social dynamics of a locality. but by social. how specific or even modest they may be. women. cultural and political combined with technological 23 SOCIAL INNOVATION IN LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES Frank Moulaert and Jean Cedri Delvainquire innovation They eventually condense their argument by drawing the following four interim typologies of social innovation Based on a detailed research they conducted on local development cases in 30 localities of the European Union. one can also reason in terms of mobilizing the particular assets. existing within different types of cultural heritage may have a strong development and mobilization potential. they stress. organizational. that fit the characteristics of the area and of the people living there. minorities and displaced workers from industrial decline. It goes without saying that in order to be successful this measure should be oriented towards providing 'long term employment'. bottom-up strategies. 2 .

space is dead matter where as place relates more to the meanings that built environments make manifest and the relationships they promote. Moreover. with potential new jobs for local people In the case of Bilbao: Devising a new profile for local economic development agents such as: • Structural change and territorial organization • Area analysis • Local Economic Development Instruments • Strategies for local / regional revitalization Tertiarization . because of its exposure to continuous ideological and ‘practical’ challenges and because of its ‘rooted’ character. it is strongly embedded in the logic and practice of social struggle. which are often completely unrealistic for the redevelopment of localities in disintegration. But the fact is that. and the managerial capacity to take an active part in decision and implementation processes. buildings and spaces in general are the loci or framework of representation. how can we “read” dwellings and built environments? What is the difference 15 | P a g e Delvainquire Dagnachew G. we will thus arm ourselves with the appropriate instruments needed to analyze urban development. The question is then. in examining the relationship that can exist between these actions and socio.. By employing this concept. a political power that they manifest.Actions developing specific activities. its governance and policies. this alternative view of urban development is much more ‘analysis-based’ and ‘reality-anchored’ than the neoliberal urban policies approach and takes into full consideration the path-dependent and context-bounded nature of urban development strategies. There exists a bulk of literature outlining the social innovation discourse. 24 4 . but to discuss it in further detail is far beyond the scope of this paper. Aseffa [s0205505] . It is understandable why the Social Innovation view can simply be classified as idealistically utopian. 2005).REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] operational. rather than the physical buildings and places per se. As Denis Hollier suggests. yet from all the observations made so far it is safe to conclude that it is a far more reasonable approach to remedy the problem of socio-spatial exclusion caused by ‘traditional’ urban revitalization schemes. 24 SOCIAL INNOVATION IN LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES Frank Moulaert and Jean Cedri which has grown as a reaction against alienation processes to which large groups of the urban population are falling victim (Moulaert et al. they represent a religion that they bring alive.cultural and socio-political contexts. and events that they commemorate. as well as any emerging alternatives.shift to a "post-industrial" society Cultural strategy . CONCLUSION There is a fundamental difference between space and place both literally and figuratively. Yet the above four actions constitute the types that would avoid the trap of pursuing strictly economically oriented and new technology based policies.Guggenheim museum Infrastructures (transport and communications) Urban and environment regeneration Institutional co-ordination • Practical training There is still need for a more systematic approach. answering to local needs.

. L. 2001. ISBN 0-333-49574-8. Antipode (a radical journal of geography). F.. J. P... L. 195-209 (2007) Olivia I Casas. which is understandable given that it was successful in amassing an enormous amount of economic wealth. 21. pp. Forester (eds. 3. (eds. But this process had drastic effects on the socio-spatial fabric of the area. ISBN 987-8594-017-3. ISBN 0-415-32098-4. Rutledge Taylor and Francis group London. Aseffa [s0205505] 16 | P a g e . Martinelli.. London: UCL. (2004) Dagnachew G. Creativity and Action. et al. ‘Social Innovation and Governance in European Cities’: Urban Development between Path Dependency and Radical Innovation. Albrecht. Fischer and J. ISBN 0-415-24592-3.): Empowering the Planning Fields. Ethics. (1993) Healy. that place revitalization i. E. pp.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] between space and place? What does the frank o’ Gerry’s famous museum and all the other new physical interventions in Bilbao mean? Why is “place memory” important. ‘Collaborative planning ’.. 14. European Urban and Regional Studies. and how does nostalgia condition our collective imaginaries? And why does “wisdom sit in places”? The revitalization process of the metropolitan Bilbao -as was discussed in a fairly detailed manner in the previous sections of this paper. No. Swyngedouw.mainly targeted space revitalization. 293-310. in F. D. S. In: Environment and planning. F. 6. 905-924. and Rodríguez.e. S. A.. Maarten ‘Discourse Coalitions And The Institutionalization Of Practice’: The Case of Acid Rain in Great Britain. 2003. Vol. such as social innovation-as proposed by many a scholars-should be considered as an alternative approach so that the revitalization process addresses not only the spatial problems but also those of the place (the day-to-day workings that mould the space) BIBLIOGRAPHY Albrecht..). p. F. ‘Neoliberal Urban Development in Europe’: Large scale urban development projects and new urban policy. 2008. ‘Urban Theory and Urban Experience’: encountering the city. What this paper tried to outline is then. ‘Urban World/Global City’... and Swyngedouw. L. Rutledge Taylor and Francis group London. MacMillan press limited. 34(3): 542-577 (2002) Moulaert. (1997) Moulaert. 43–76. the Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis and Planning. In: Van den Broeck. E. F. 227-248. (1996) Hajer. In: International Planning Studies. and Moulaert. Josep ‘Confusions in Urban Design’: the public city versus the domestic city. Vol. Techne Press. a more ‘place conscious’ strategy.. González. London.. shaping places in fragmented societies. Albrecht. Clark.. Vol. ‘Planning and Power’: towards an emancipatory planning approach. Amsterdam (2007) Parker. ‘Strategic (Spatial) Planning Re-Examined’. ‘In Pursuit Of New Approaches to Strategic Spatial Planning: A European Perspective’. Leuven.

‘Geographies of Exclusion’. E. No..bm30. home page http://www. (1996) BILBAO METROPOLI-30 home page http://www.REVITALIZING SPACEs versus REVITALIZING PLACEs SOCIAL INNOVATION as an alternative strategy for the revitalization of Bilbao Spain STRATEGIC SPATIAL PLANNING [B-KUL-HO2NIA] Rodrí ISBN 90-800636-2-2. ‘Uneven Redevelopment’: New Urban Policies and Socio-Spatial Fragmentation in Metropolitan Bilbao. 161-178 (2001) Sibley. Aseffa [s0205505] 17 | P a g e . Vol. 8. (editor) ‘Space and Place’: mirrors of social and cultural identities.html BILBAO RIA 2000. ISBN0-415-11925-1. D. Leuven.bilbaoria2000. Martínez. European Urban and Regional Dagnachew G. Rutledge Taylor and Francis group London. (1995) Vanneste. and Guenaga..htm Acta Geographica lovaniensia. G. 2.. A. D...

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